Survey finds hope at the heart of our experiences of the climate crisis

Written by Jenna Holliday

On 29 November a group of catalysts hosted a Mock COP Fringe event “Our Climate Vision” sharing findings from original research into people’s experiences of climate change. In this blog Catalyse Change Director Jenna Holliday provides a note of some of the key findings from the survey.

One of my personal 2020 highlights has been acting as the admin for the Our Climate Vision (OCV) Team – a group of catalysts that designed and hosted an official Mock COP fringe event in November 2020. Keen to ensure that the OCV team get to their Christmas breaks as quickly as possible – I gladly volunteered for the role of reporting back the findings of the research that formed the basis of this event.

At this point I am keen to stress that the young women working together on this project took it from conception to delivery within one month. A tremendous achievement. At the very outset a key objective was to use this event to amplify the voices of others about climate justice, in particular to understand how people were experiencing climate justice and how these experiences differed.

A survey was put together by the OCV team to collect this data. At the event, the survey findings were presented by the team who also passed the mic to an array of guest speakers to share their experiences. The team shared useful resources, and, inspired by craftivism, worked with the event participants to create postcards from a greener and fairer world.

Don’t worry if you missed the event, you can watch it here.
Here is a summary of some of the OCV survey findings:

In the two weeks that it was live, the survey received 189 responses from 20 countries

A key finding was that, when asked to provide three words describing their feelings around climate change, the majority of respondents included one positive word. These words were analysed and presented in a word cloud, which shows that “hopeful”, “empowered”, “responsible” and “action” were key.

In addition to understanding how people felt about the climate crisis, the survey asked people to provide their opinion on the most important climate change issue, what the government and media should do more or less of, and how the climate crisis has affected them directly.

These were the headline findings:
  • The most mentioned climate issue was reducing carbon emissions (more renewables, fewer fossil fuels, less pollution of all forms).
  • The government needs to increase corporate intervention, green investment and sustainable leadership.
  • The media needs to produce more fact-based and accountable reporting on the climate crisis, making the urgency clear but incorporating positive messaging and suggestions for action.
  • The climate crisis is impacting people mentally and physically – stress and anxiety are related to government inaction and the lack of accountability of large corporations; physical experiences are linked to extreme weather.

Female respondents identified that their gender has impacted their experience of the climate crisis – both in terms of lack of representation in leadership and feeling a higher level of empathy about the climate crisis.

You can access the presentation deck here to see more detailed findings.

So what are the Next Steps?

The event ended with an introduction to craftivism and a shared space in which participants created postcards depicting their vision of a greener and fairer future.

Postcards are usually sent to people with a ‘wish you were here’ message. And these #postcardsfrom a greener and fairer world will continue the tradition as a way to inspire COP26 delegates to use their position of power to make it a reality.

The OVC team is now inviting you to create your own postcard. Your postcard can be a drawing, a collage, a painting, a word, a quote….whatever captures your vision for a greener and fairer future. You are also encouraged to write a message on the back of your postcard describing in words what you have envisioned.

The OCV team looks forward to receiving your postcards in the new year! In the meantime, have a peaceful festive season, from the OCV team and all at Catalyse Change.

For more information about the Our Climate Vision event or the #postcardsfrom campaign, please contact or